UW-Eau Claire marketing, entrepreneurship graduates living life on the road

| Jesse Yang (story + video)

Two Blugold travelers who planted their college roots at UW-Eau Claire are living life to the fullest. With bachelor’s degrees and a mix of marketing and carpentry skills in their back pockets, Pete Thuli and Taylor Bucher are sharing their expertise in living life on the road with the rest of the world.

After graduating from UW-Eau Claire in 2016, Thuli, who earned degrees in marketing and entrepreneurship, and Bucher, a marketing graduate, spent five months renovating an old airport transit van that would become their home and business, Always The Road. Watch the video above to learn more about their journey and the van life.

Aside from building and installing cabinetry, plumbing, a solar power system and more in their converted  van, the duo also are putting their UW-Eau Claire degrees to use. They market their van life online and capture Instagram-worthy photos of their journey to share with their followers.

Following the success of their first van build, Thuli and Bucher decided to start working on van number two – and already have a buyer lined up.

“We were really surprised by the response that we got,” Bucher said. “We just put out some feelers essentially, and said, ‘Hey, we might be converting one.’ And then we got a really good response, and I think a lot of people were just drawn to our build. So, we didn’t really think about doing more, but now we know it’s definitely in the realm of possibility because we know there’s a high demand for it now.”

The two are also selling their e-book, a 100-plus-page online manual that details everything from the process of purchasing a used van to custom building its entire interior.

But the road doesn’t stop there. They are also singers and musicians, with Thuli entertaining on the guitar while Bucher strums the ukulele. Their acoustic songs are also sold on their website to help finance their van life.

In addition, affiliate marketing allows Thuli and Bucher to earn a profit while promoting other companies’ products, including solar panels, insulation, bench cushions and clothing.

Thuli and Bucher’s entrepreneurial labors of love will continue wherever the road takes them. 

“It’s never over,” Thuli said. “You’re always moving, always in motion, in one way or another — in relationship, financially, career-wise."

“To me it’s just kind of, you can take it literally or figuratively in that we’re always on the road,” Bucher said. “In life, the journey never ends no matter what you’re doing. No matter what, that’s the journey, and it’s always the road.”